Myst: Revelation
Conclusion: I enjoyed this game, but it’s not a good game – I’d say it’s worth 75% of the cover price.

I love the Myst games – I’m just not into games like GTA OK? Even if there was GTA meets Myst (which there isn’t). I like wandering around beautiful locations – somewhere I’d want to go on holiday AND STAY – and solving problems (ew!) by observing, working out what’s going on, how things work, and so on. Plus I can’t stand the “meat puppet” character animation you get in other games – a bit of “canned” live action is much more preferable.

So I’ve played all the “core” Myst games, and the games have got technically better, but the quality of the puzzles and story has declined since Riven (Myst 2).

From our flat panelled, millions-of-colours world, the original Myst’s images are disappointing. But much worse, the puzzles were (with one or two exceptions) laughable – jammed into the environment with all but “this is very contrived” daubed on them in 9ft grafitti. It was a game before its time perhaps, and the 5 CD epic follow up had the storage to be much more clever, better thought out, with a nice mix of puzzles that required observation, thought and a “global” understanding of the Riven world.

Since then the quality has dropped some, and (for me at least) the full 360° views never made up for this. I’d say that Revelation has only slightly better puzzles than the original, and there is an over-reliance on elaborate “combination locks” – possibly inspired by the fine central combination puzzle in Riven. Graphically, the consistent Myst design ethos is as beguiling as ever, and the technical improvements in “immersion” include an impressive depth-of-field trick and much more movement from the water, flaura and fauna around you.

There is however one really awful thing in Revelation, worse even than the child actor – at one key point you have to sit through… an exclusive Peter Gabriel track, with Gabe in full new age mode wittering on about curtains. Groo. Pretty video though.